Many years ago I had the opportunity to meet Danny Meyer. I had planned a trip to visit a client in New York, and mentioned my travel to a friend and fairly well-known food writer/blogger based in the Big Apple who visits New Orleans regularly with his wife. He set me up for lunch at Union Square Café, and I was pretty excited about it.
Then my plans fell through and I had to cancel. I still regret it, but such is life.
I doubt I’ll have the opportunity to meet Mr. Meyer when a Shake Shack opens in the new terminal at the airport sometime next year. And I’m on the fence about whether to visit the place when I inevitably fly after the construction is complete. Not because I doubt that Shake Shack serves good burgers; Meyer’s reputation would be enough for me to check it out were a location to open elsewhere in the city. But unless I’ve got a long layover, I tend to spend as little time in our airport as possible. I never plan on eating at an airport, and certainly not before I catch a flight. Then when I return to New Orleans my goal is to get home without delay.
I hope that the new terminal opens on time and that all of the vendors – food and otherwise – are successful, but I can’t see any of them getting a lot of my business.
In other news, my wife and I had lunch recently at a place I’ve always liked: Mahony’s Po-Boys. It didn’t disappoint. We split a perfectly fried large catfish sandwich, dressed with extra pickles as God intended, and excellent fries. It’s the first time in ages I’ve eaten there and haven’t also ordered onion rings, because I really like thin-cut onion rings, and I missed them, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to try them when I visit the new location Mahony’s has recently opened in the Quarter. (Hat tip to my friend Todd Price).
The story when Mahony’s first opened was all about the unusual dishes on their menu – fried chicken livers with slaw, Abita-braised short ribs, or duck debris. All of those are good, but while the folks behind the place may not be lifelong New Orleanians, they sure turn out some classic poor boys. It’s among the places I recommend when people come in from out of town, because I know it’s good and perhaps as importantly, consistently good.
On that note: what poor boys do you recommend to visitors, and why?